Saturday, July 07, 2007

Lower Santeetlah

After our first day on the Cheoah we needed to find a place to camp. Most of the campground were filling up quick and after meeting back up with John and Dave after their return from the hospital (John had unfortunately dislocated his shoulder that afternoon), we found options limited. After driving around to a few places we were running out of options. But low and behold opportunity presents itself as needed. Driving down the road near the Santeetlah we found the perfect spot. A nice big patch of grass next to what probably used to be a scenic overlook with great parking. Seemed unlikely that anyone would bother us here so we opted to go ahead and set up camp here.

On the way up we had also noticed that the Santeetlah had some water it it. Looked like the afternoon’s rains had brought the level up to something boatable. After getting John’s tent set up we left him to guard our spot while we headed of for a quick dusk run on the Lower Santeetlah. It did not seem like the upper sections would have enough water, and we didn’t have enough daylight anyway, so this quick class III run seemed like a good choice. We arrived at the put in to find a wedding taking place there. We set shuttle and put on quickly to avoid attracting too much attention.

The flow was low but definitely runnable. There were a few spots we had to scrape over but overall it was a nice run. A few ledge drops, one low head dam, and very pretty scenery.

That evening, not being able to make a campfire given our location we got an incredible view of the nights sky… leading to an argument over which star is the North Star exactly?

Polaris more commonly known as The North Star, is the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor." And FYI, the spout of the big dipper (Ursa Major) points directly to the North Star. So sorry Jason, but I definitely won that one!

Below the lowhead dam

Jeff running the lowhead dam

Jason on Lower Santeetlah

A little ELF boating

The lake

Our most excellent campsite


Check out the rest of the Lower Santeetlah gallery here

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